Also see: Liberty
Origin of the word:
Old English freodom "power of self-determination, state of free will; emancipation from slavery, deliverance;" see free (adj.) + -dom. Meaning "exemption from arbitrary or despotic control, civil liberty" is from late 14c.
Meaning "possession of particular privileges" is from 1570s. Similar formation in Old Frisian fridom, Dutch vrijdom, Middle Low German vridom.
Freedom-rider recorded 1961 in reference to civil rights activists in U.S. trying to integrate bus lines.
It has been said by some physicians, that life is a forced state. The same may be said of freedom. It requires efforts, it presupposes mental and moral qualities of a high order to be generally diffused in the society where it exists. [John C. Calhoun, speech, U.S. House of Representatives, Jan. 31, 1816]
Other useful definitions by Creative, and Game-Changing Thinkers:
"Liberty is a state of mind. It can be seen as a chance for freedom, or a promise made but not kept. We can choose to be part of something or choose to be apart.
Liberty is the offer and promise and requirement of responsibility. A willingness to connect and to offer dignity in response to those around us.
Independence is actually about cooperation and interconnectedness.
Yet we’ve set up systems that limit what we see, how we connect and insulate us from the hard work that’s right in front of us.
One of the most important words I know doesn’t have a simple English equivalent, which says a lot. Sawubona, a Zulu term, means, “I see you.” Not just your face, of course, but your hopes, your dreams, where you came from and where you’re going. It’s not something we’re good at, and I need to do it better.
Figuring out the best way to see and understand and care about the people we call ‘us’ can be difficult indeed. And essential." Seth Godin